Partner Visas

You may be eligible for a partner visa if you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, Permanent Resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen.

You must either be married or have lived together in a de-facto relationship.

Visa Conditions and Duration

The initial partner visa granted is generally a temporary Partner Visa. This will allow you to stay in Australia with have full work and travel rights, as well as access to Medicare.

Two years after initial lodgement of the Partner visa, the Department of Immigration will consider your application for a Permanent Partner Visa. At this stage, you will be asked for current evidence of your relationship.

Immigration may consider granting the permanent visa immediately after the temporary visa if you can demonstrate that at the time of lodging the application:

  • you have been in the relationship with your partner for three years or more at the time of application; or
  • you have been in the relationship for two years where there are dependent children of the relationship; or
  • your partner was granted a permanent visa under the humanitarian program or was granted a protection visa and was in the relationship with you before the visa was granted and this relationship was declared to the Department of Immigration at the time.

In some circumstances, you may be eligible for permanent residence even if the relationship has broken up before the end of the 2 year period. These circumstances include:

  • If your partner has died during this period; or
  • If your relationship has ended but you and your Australian partner have shared children under 18 years of age; or
  • If you or your dependants have been subject to domestic violence during this period

Visa Criteria

In order to be eligible for a partner visa, you must meet the following criteria:

Genuine Relationship

You will need to show that you and your partner have a commitment to a shared life together, to the exclusion of all others. You and your partner must live together, or at least not live apart on a permanent basis.

The Department of Immigration will look at a number of aspects of your relationship, including:

  • Cohabitation: Usually evidenced through showing correspondence addressed to both of you at the same address
  • Financial: For example, joint bank accounts or transfer of funds between accounts, joint ownership of property, joint financial commitment such as leases, mortgages, insurance policies.
  • Committment: Evidence of plans made for the future. Mutually beneficial wills, life insurance, or superannuation.
  • Social: Joint travel, joint social activities, joint participation in cultural or sporting activities.

Defacto Relationship - 12 Months Cohabitation

A defacto relationship would require evidence that you have lived with your partner for the last 12 months. The Department of Immigration requires documentary evidence that you have lived together (for example, a joint lease or correspondence sent to you at the same address).

It is possible to get a waiver of the 12 month requirement if your relationship was formally registered with an Australian State or Territory Government.

If you are married, you do not need to show 12 months of cohabitation, but will need to show that you have a shared resiential address.

Health & Character

You will need to provide full health and police checks. If you do have a medical condition, a waiver of the usual health requirements is possible where the cost to the Australian community of treating the condition is not undue.

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